The Killer is French comic book created by Matz and Luc Jacamon. Originally published in 1998, the series is about an unnamed assassin who contemplates his work and life in general while carrying out his work. The entire series has been collected in one book and is set to be released by BOOM! Studios.
(I will break down the book by chapter and give final thoughts on each part at the end of the completed cycle and the series in general at the very end.)
Chapter One: Long Fire
A man is alone on a long stakeout. There is little in the way of dialogue as the story is told through flashbacks and an inner monologue. He is already thinking about a future where he does not have to kill. Cinematic shots with beautiful art and paneling.
Chapter Two: Vicious Cycle
The killer appears to have been set up. The story moves to another locale as the killer appears to be more accepting of his life. Great comparisons with wildlife and the art continues to impress.Chapter Three: The Debt
The story now goes to New York City and the art is absolutely fantastic. It has a water color look that makes panels pop off the page. The killer apparently has a debt to pay and someone close learns something about him.
Chapter Four: Blood Ties
Once again, the art takes center stage. There is great use of dark blue and brights. The world looks better here than in real life. The killer may be allowing things to get too personal instead of being cold and dispassionate. The character arc of the killer has been interesting.
Chapter Five: The Killer Instinct
Everything comes to violent conclusion. The killer learns something about himself while reaffirming his opinion of the world.
Final Thoughts (Part One): What a ride! There are a few twists and turns but The Killer does not rely on them. The story is driven by the actions of the unnamed protagonist. The reader is constantly let in to the assassin’s world through his thoughts and deeds. Jacamon’s art is fantastic with the coloring being a real stand out. The Killer takes place around the world and each location has a different look and feel. A true work of art visually and story wise.
Chapter Six: Modus Vivendi
The second part takes place four years later. The killer now has a wife and son but he goes back to work for lack of anything to do. The art is detailed and beautiful.Chapter Seven: Ordinary Mortals
This chapter begins a new unwelcome trend: the protagonist rants about the evils of the world. He realizes that returning to his old line of work has brought more problems than expected.
Chapter 8: The Natural Order of Things
The killer deals with fatherhood and discusses why drug dealing is bad despite his partnership with the drug dealing Mariano. The second weak chapter in a row as the story has become reliant on twists.
Chapter 9: Unfair Competition
Things are changing and the killer makes some surprising choices in his life. Jacamon’s art is stunning here and Texas has never looked better.
Chapter Ten: Putting Your Heart Into It
Life is changing at a hectic pace, but some things will never change. A person claiming to be from the killer’s past shows up.Chapter 11: One Track Mind
Some of the entire book’s best art is found in this chapter. The story gets back on track as the character is cold and calculated instead of bemoaning the world’s problems. The killer’s friend(?) Haywood thinks something is up.
Chapter 12: The Hand That Feeds
Maraino goes missing and everyone’s life is about to change. Jacamon’s color here is at its best and the art is strong enough to make the harshest critic smile.
Chapter 13: Lines of Flight
The arc and book both end the only way they should. This chapter is all about the main character. The beauty in the writing is the only other role of any substance is a the beginning of the chapter and sets the pace for the rest of the book. Readers may only see the killer, but he is influenced by everyone we have met. Strong ending that is sums up the unnamed anti hero and his view on life.
Final Thoughts (Part Two): The second story strays away from what made part one so great and is noticeably weaker. The killer comes off as whiny and the story relies on twists and action. However, the story is fun and the writing is fantastic at times. Add some of the best art in the book and readers are still left with a very strong story.
The Killer is a globetrotting adventure with strong characters There is a lot of action, but the driving force is the titular character and how he changes. The art is first rate and every time the reader thinks they have seen the best looking page, a better one turns up. The story relies a little much on a smoke and mirrors in part two, but the art is still top notch. The Killer is a must read book.
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